President Joe Biden on Wednesday night mobilized air transportation of infant formula from foreign countries to the U.S. and ordered suppliers to prioritize formula makers to address a serious domestic shortage that has plagued parents across the country.

The White House has said it has launched Operation Fly Formula to speed up imports of baby formulas and deliver them to stores as soon as possible.

Biden has ordered the Ministries of Health, Social Services and Agriculture to use Department of Defense commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards. The Ministry of Defense will use its contracts with commercial cargo airlines to transport products from manufacturing facilities abroad that meet the safety standards of the Food and Drug Administration.

Chartering freight on an emergency basis, rather than booking shipments through regular logistics channels, will speed up distribution and provide immediate support to producers as they boost domestic production, the White House said.

The agreement is similar to how the Federal Emergency Management Agency signed contracts with cargo airlines The Airbridge project promptly supply personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical equipment from abroad at the beginning of the COVID pandemic to reduce delivery times amid widespread stock shortages.

The President also referred to the Law on Defense Production to provide producers with the necessary ingredients to safely produce more baby formula and speed up production. The order requires suppliers to give the necessary resources to the manufacturers of baby formulas earlier than any other customers who could order ingredients or related products.

On Monday, v The FDA and the Department of Justice have entered into a decree agreeing with Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), describing the steps the company will take to reopen its plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which was closed in February after four infants fell ill on suspicion of bacterial contamination of their mixture.

The FDA has also announced guidelines that will allow major formula manufacturers to safely import formulas that are not currently produced for the U.S. market.

“The administration remains in close contact with manufacturers and retailers to identify transportation and logistics needs, to increase the number and speed of FDA shipped formulas delivered to the country, and to ensure that the formula moves quickly from factories to retailers,” White said. house. .

“Today’s steps further underscore the administration’s commitment to addressing the formula shortfall quickly and safely, and the administration will continue to work overtime to get more formula available to stores as soon as possible,” the statement said.

Click here for more FreightWaves / American Shipper stories by Eric Kulish.

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